This month the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung that relates to an electronic device such as their Galaxy Note having an automatically ejectable input touch pen system. What's unique about this invention is that the pen could stay locked into the smartphone and only released until the user provides a special voice command and/or gesture. Although the patent is extremely technical, we've simplified it to get to the heart of this smartphone feature quickly.
Jumping right into the patent we're able to see Samsung's FIG. 6 below which is an internal view of an electronic device, such as a Galaxy Note, as the touch pen is being automatically ejected.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Note (electronic device) will be able to sense an automatic ejection event and supplies power to the first electromagnet #1401. When power is supplied, the first electromagnet may push the magnet #1101 having the same polarity toward the pen hole by repulsion.
The second electromagnet #1402 noted above having a different polarity may pull the magnet #1101 by attraction. Thus, the magnet of the touch pen may move from a location at which the first electromagnet #1401 is located, to a location at which the second electromagnet #1402 is located, and as a result, the touch pen may be ejected from the Galaxy Note (or electronic device) according to the distance between the first electromagnet #1401 and the second electromagnet #1402.
According to an embodiment, the outputted related information about the pen being ejected may include at least one of visual information through a display module, auditory information using an alarm, tactile information using vibration, and any other similar information providing notification to the user.
Samsung's patent FIG. 9 below presents a flowchart for ejecting a touch pen of an electronic device and FIG. 10 shows how a message is displayed on an electronic device when a touch pen of an electronic device is not completely ejected.
The Locking Mechanism
Samsung's patent FIG. 5 noted below relates to the Pen's locking mechanism. The electronic device may include a locker mechanism #150 that is arranged in the electronic device. An end of the locker is formed as a protrusion having a hook shape and may be arranged to overlap with the pen guide path.
The protrusion of the locker may be engaged with a groove #1102 formed in the body of the pen as noted in #11 below. Even if the touch pen is completely inserted into the electronic device and confined by the locker, the touch pen would be able to be free from the confinement related force applied by the locker when power is supplied to the electromagnets #1401 and #1402 noted in patent FIG. 6 above according to an automatic ejection mode.
What makes this invention unique from manual ejection of the pen is that the user could either use a simple "shape gesture" on the display or use a simple voice command to eject the pen.
In closing, Samsung states the following "Since it is possible to automatically eject the touch pen only with a simple manipulation and/or command, it is easy to manipulate the electronic device with one hand, and since a separate locking device for confining the touch pen isn't needed, it is possible to enhance the usage convenience of the electronic device."
Samsung filed their U.S. patent application back in Q4 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
A Note for Tech Sites covering our Report: We ask tech sites covering our report to kindly limit the use of our graphics to one image. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Patently Mobile presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. About Posting Comments: Patently Mobile reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments.